High hopes for new hostel in Ohio City
Cleveland Hostel among 20 new businesses to open in area in last 18 months
By Jennifer Nagy
June 14, 2012
When people hear the word hostel, they generally think of young people gallivanting across Europe, toting backpacks, and hopping on trains to experience far away lands. However, in recent years the trend has taken shape in major cities throughout the United States.
At the end of June, Cleveland will be the next city to offer travelers this experience thanks to Mark Raymond.
After attending Arizona State University and earning a Master’s degree in urban planning in Finland, Raymond’s dream to open a hostel in Cleveland is about to come true. Four and a half months of renovations in a century-old building led by Reynolds and his father, who owns a building supply company, are nearing completion.
The historical elements of the building, such as exposed brick and ductwork, have been blended with modern charm and amenities. Hiding these elements would discredit the already existing allure of the building.
“We have left some of the exposed brick. We are trying to keep some of the historical elements,” Raymond said. “If you hide all of that, then you don’t know where you are.”
Taking into consideration several locations in Cleveland, Raymond decided that Ohio City would be the ideal location to set up shop. Many other sites he considered were 5-10 minutes away from where travelers can experience all that Cleveland has to offer. Ultimately, the 2090 W. 25th St. location was the winner.
“Here, you are right outside the door and you are where you want to be,” Raymond said.
The hostel’s Market District location is easily accessible from the airport and downtown since it is located near the RTA red line train. For travelers making the trek across the United States, Cleveland is an ideal stopping point when traveling between New York and Chicago.
Just a few minutes walk from the West Side Market, local breweries, restaurants and entertainment, the Cleveland Hostel is sure to give travelers a taste of what Cleveland is all about.
The 60-bed hostel will also offer a shared kitchen for preparing meals where guests will be encouraged to cook with local foods purchased at the West Side Market. Raymond also envisions offering cooking classes put on by local culinary specialists.
Guests will pay around $25 a night for a bed in a shared room and $75 a night for a private room. There are 15 rooms total, half being shared and half being private. Some rooms also include a private bathroom.
Bike rental, laundry facilities and wireless Internet access will also be available to hostel guests. The rooftop deck has a spectacular view of downtown Cleveland, which provides an excellent background for cookouts and celebrations hosted by the hostel.
Raymond also expressed interest in teaming up with programs at universities in Ohio, such as Cleveland State University, that focus on community service to expand their world view and connect with the local neighborhood.
“In addition to the general traveler, I would like to get people here who are in a group or volunteering or have some purpose here,” Raymond said.
This concept is also reflected in Raymond’s efforts to start a program with Neighborhood Progress, which will provide rooms to volunteers from across the country while they work at local urban farms.